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UDAF Requests Public Comment for Upcoming Specialty Crop Block Grant

The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF) is seeking public comment for the upcoming Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) application cycle. The SCBGP is a competitive grant program operated by the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food to administer federal funds from the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service; this grant is open to farmers, private businesses, schools, trade associations, non-profits, farming and ranching co-ops, etc. headquartered in Utah. Specialty crops are fruits and vegetables, dried fruit, tree nuts, horticulture, and nursery crops (including floriculture). 

In 2023, $355,050 will be awarded for projects designed to enhance the competitiveness of Utah-grown specialty crops by (1) leveraging efforts to market and promote specialty crops; (2) assisting producers with research and development relevant to specialty crops; (3) expanding availability and access to specialty crops; and (4) addressing local, regional, and national challenges confronting specialty crop producers.

UDAF is requesting public input on the following issues impacting Utah’s specialty crop industry for this year’s application cycle:

  • Enhancing food safety;
  • Improving the capacity of all entities in the specialty crop distribution chain to comply with the requirements of the Food Safety Modernization Act (21 U.S.C. Chapter 27)
  • Investing in specialty crop research, including research to focus on conservation and environmental outcomes;
  • Developing new and improved seed varieties and specialty crops;
  • Pest and disease control;
  • Increasing child and adult nutrition knowledge and consumption of specialty crops;
  • Improving efficiency and reducing costs of distribution systems; and
  • Sustainability.

This input will help shape the ranking and rating criteria priorities to maximize benefit for Utah’s specialty crop industry. Please submit comments by February 12, 2023 at 11:59pm email to: [email protected]. The application window will be open from February 22 – March 24, 2023. For more information, contact Caroline Hargraves at [email protected] or visit our Specialty Crop Block Grant Program page.